Those who have been too busy during the week to take advantage of early voting opportunities can cast their ballots Saturday, thanks to a state mandate.
Since state legislators reduced the number of early voting days from 45 to 21, they added a Saturday to the list of early voting opportunities, Bulloch County Elections Superintendent Pat Lanier Jones said.
At both the Bulloch County Courthouse and the Honey Bowen Building on Max Lockwood Drive this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., residents can vote early and avoid lines on Election Day, Nov. 6.
Early voting opportunities also will be available next week from Monday through Friday at both the Bulloch County Courthouse and the Honey Bowen Building, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
“I’d like to continue encouraging Georgians across the state to take advantage of early voting,” Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said. “If you’ve been unable to vote early during the week due to work or personal reasons, please take advantage of this additional resource.”
Turnout for early voting so far has been steady, Jones said. Georgia Southern University students also had a chance to vote on campus. The last day to do so there was Thursday, and about 1,780 students took advantage, Lanier said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Lanier said 1,002 absentee ballots were mailed with 200 more to go.
Records showed about 3,507 voters cast early ballots at the Bulloch County Courthouse.
Several offices are contested this general election, including the presidential election, where voters will choose between Republican candidate Mitt Romney and incumbent Democrat Barack Obama.
The seat for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District also is up for grabs. Republican challenger Lee Anderson is running against incumbent Democrat John Barrow, who has held the office since 2005.
Bulloch County voters will choose between incumbent Republican state Rep. Jan Tankersley and Democratic challenger Marc Silver to represent Georgia’s 160th District in the Georgia General Assembly.
Also in Bulloch County, voters will choose between Republican incumbent Bulloch County Superior Court Clerk Teresa Tucker or Democratic challenger Liz Johnson.
Statesboro’s District 1 residents will vote in a special city election, held concurrent with the general election, to decide among four men vying to fill a Statesboro City Council seat left vacant by Councilman Tommy Blitch, who resigned in August.
Local radio personality Phil Boyum, local business owners Per Holtze and Jonathan McCollar and restaurant manager Maurice Jackson will appear on ballots of District 1 voters. Some residents might have to visit separate polling locations to vote in each election.
Voters must provide valid identification (a Georgia driver’s license, government ID, passport or tribal identification) to complete a ballot during all early voting periods.
As of Thursday, statewide voter turnouts were as follows: 688,388 ballots cast: 568,057 cast in person; 120,331 mail-in ballots returned; and 97,413 mail-in ballots outstanding.
Anyone with questions on voting should call the Bulloch County Board of Elections at (912) 764-6502.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.